[Excerpt] The real challenge for those involved in designing competency-based educational programs is to recognize the complexity of competence as a concept. Only then can they effectively delineate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that learners must acquire to be able to perform within each domain at a predetermined level and to recognize that the expected level of performance within each domain will vary depending on the learner's stage of education and the specialty he or she is learning. The authors of this book help us do just that. They examine the challenges facing medical education and introduce the concept of "discourse" as a mechanism both for examining the idea of competence and considering how to implement competency-based education. In so doing, they provide us with a new way to ask the questions that are at the heart of every report advocating change, every criticism of medical education, and every conversation that questions why health care is the way it is today.